Keen to be the next Jack Ma? Get tips from classes run by Alibaba school in Singapore next year

The Alibaba Business College was set up in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in 2008.
The Alibaba Business College was set up in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in 2008. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Entrepreneurs here hoping to become the next Jack Ma can soon learn the secrets of doing well in e-commerce through a course offered by a business school run by the Chinese Internet mogul’s company Alibaba.

The Alibaba Business College plans to roll out a digital e-commerce course in countries under China’s Belt and Road Initiative to link China with Asia, Africa and Europe through routes over land and sea, and will launch the course first in Singapore.

On Wednesday (Nov 22), the college signed a memorandum of understanding with NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) and LearningHub along with the Nanyang International Business College.

The Alibaba school, set up in Hangzhou, China, in 2008, will train and certify e-commerce talents around the region, starting with Singapore.

Mr Nick Zhou, South-east Asia Programme director of the Alibaba Business College, said the programme will consist of four masterclasses over 12 full days and target about 150 people.

“Everybody wants to become Jack Ma. But we want to help more Singaporeans focus on their own (success) story, not just Jack Ma’s story.”

The Alibaba school, set up in Hangzhou, China, in 2008, will train and certify e-commerce talents around the region, starting with Singapore.

Mr Kwek Kok Kwong, chief executive officer of NTUC LearningHub, said: “Singapore is one of the most connected nations in the world, so it makes a lot of sense for us to explore e-commerce.”

The two business colleges, Alibaba and Nanyang International, will provide the trainers and curriculum, while e2i and the LearningHub will run the programme in their Singapore centres.

Ms Vicky Wong Yoke Woon, deputy CEO of e2i’s industry business group, said details such as cost and venue are not confirmed as the programme is still being planned. But the aim is to start classes in January 2018.

Among other things, participants will learn about e-commerce business models and platforms, online retailing and digital marketing.

At the end of the course, participants will get certification from the Alibaba college.

The public can sign up according to their needs and competency, said e2i, and skip some of the introductory courses if they do not need them.

The MOU was signed at the Internet Thinkers’ Conference, a one-day forum at The Arts House that brought together around 200 practitioners who study and shape the Internet.

Mr Andrew Tan, co-founder and owner of Japanese lifestyle product store atomi, who attended the event, said the MOU allows for the exchanging of views, ideas and philosophies.

“With this partnership, my team and I will have access to observe, understand and analyse the China market... and learn from leading thinkers from the Internet world among the Chinese-speaking population.”

To find out more, e-mail pme@ntuclearninghub.com